Georgian Prime Minister’s Visit to Estonia Print Version

2017-05-12

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On May 12, Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili visited the Republic of Estonia. During this official visit, the Head of Georgian Government was hosted by his Estonian counterpart, Jüri Ratas. The main topics of the meeting included the successful development of Georgia-Estonia bilateral cooperation, Georgia's European and Euro-Atlantic integration, and the upcoming Eastern partnership Summit. The Prime Minister of Georgia wished success to Estonia during its important upcoming Presidency of the EU Council. According to Giorgi Kvirikashvili, Georgia welcomes support for the Eastern Partnership as one of the priorities of Estonia's Presidency. Kvirikashvili also expects the upcoming Eastern Partnership to bring about concrete deliverables.

During the meeting, all possible political and technical outcomes of the Summit were also discussed. The Prime Minister thanked Estonia for its unwavering support of Georgia's European integration and spoke of the country's progress on its path to implementing the EU association agenda. In this context, the Prime Minister emphasized EU visa liberalization. According to the parties, 2017 is also an important year in the bilateral relations between the two countries, as it marks the 25 th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Georgia and the Republic of Estonia. The Prime Ministers paid special attention to the positive dynamics in every direction of bilateral relations and underscored the positive economic statistics in this regard.

According to Giorgi Kvirikashvili, the cooperation between the two countries is in line with the Georgian Government's four-point reform agenda, including the tax reform based on the Estonian model, promotion of entrepreneurship, e-governance and education reform. The Prime Ministers also discussed ways to intensify bilateral cooperation in the fields of science, information technology, and innovation, and support for startups. During the meeting, the situation in Georgia's occupied territories was also discussed. The Prime Minister of Estonia reiterated to his counterpart Estonia's strong support for Georgia's territorial integrity and sovereignty. After the meeting, the Prime Ministers made a joint press statement.

"I would like to start with congratulating you on the forthcoming EU Council Presidency. This is a challenging task as it comes at a defining time for the future of the European Union. Therefore, we wish you all the success to accomplish the shared vision of a united Europe.
We welcome Estonia's support for the Eastern Partnership, which will be one of the priorities of its Presidency. We all look forward to the Eastern Partnership Summit in Brussels in November, which we expect will ensure practical deliverables but also set a forward-looking vision for progressive development of our relations," the Georgian Prime Minister said.

Giorgi Kvirikashvili emphasizes Estonia's importance as a role model for Georgia.

"I would like to offer our most heartfelt gratitude for being our friend and partner all over these years and being supportive to every our effort including to our NATO integration agenda.

We have of course discussed the grave security and humanitarian situation in the occupied regions of Georgia and aggressive steps by the Russian occupation forces towards the factual annexation of the regions, including the closure of the so-called crossing points along the occupation line in Abkhazia, illegal referendum in the Tskhinvali region and the so-called elections in Abkhazia and Tskhinvali regions.

All these events once again prove the need of international presence in both occupied regions of Georgia and the full implementation of the 12 August 2008 Ceasefire Agreement between Georgia and Russia. I would like once again to underline the commitment of the Government of Georgia to continue the peaceful conflict resolution policy," the Georgian Prime Minister emphasized.

The Estonian Prime Minister spoke of the excellent bilateral relations between Estonia and Georgia.

"This June, we celebrate 25 years after the establishment of our diplomatic relations. We fully support the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Georgia. It should not be forgotten that a big part of Georgia is still occupied by Russia. I am sincerely glad that Georgia was granted visa-free travel in the EU. It is a true achievement in EU integration and a remarkable achievement of the Government of Georgia and the Georgian people. The Eastern Partnership is a long-standing priority for Estonia, and we want to strengthen it during our Presidency of the EU Council starting in July.

As you know, the upcoming Eastern Partnership Summit in Brussels is scheduled for November 24. We will have to work on high-level participation at the Summit and on deliverables. I also encourage my colleague to use tailor-made solutions provided by the Eastern Partnership Estonian Center, especially in advancing reforms in Georgia. Our cooperation in the areas of defense, education, e-governance, and on EU-related issues is excellent. At our meeting, we also discussed how to boost the economic cooperation between our two countries. I believe that there is great potential for that," Jüri Ratas stated.

During his official visit to the Republic of Estonia, the Prime Minister of Georgia also held meetings with Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid and Speaker of the Parliament Eiki Nestor. The Prime Minister invited them to Georgia. The Georgian delegation included State Minister on European and Euro-Atlantic Integration Victor Dolidze and Deputy Foreign Minister Vakhtang Makharoblishvili.

Prime Minister's Press Office